Not Far From Home II: Destination North
Remember “Not Far From Home”… released exactly one year ago today? Well, Kona and Erkki Punttila did it again. And the sequel “Destination North” is equally as enchanting. A must watch film and mesmerizing photoset from a trip even further from home… in Finland’s great north Lapland.
Photos by Jaakko Posti, film by Joonas Vinnari
There’s a saying that life is like a wave and our existence is essentially surfing whatever kind of water comes our way. Metaphorically there may not be a better way to justify the ebb and flow of good and bad that everyone undoubtedly experiences. What sets certain people apart though, is their ability to ride the waves in their own, unique way. Erkki Punttila knows that the best way to reset is to embrace the tides and sail away into a different mindset.
Follow along as Erkki sails north, traverses Lemmenjoki National park, rides alongside herds of reindeer, and takes in the astonishing views from one of Finland’s greatest treasures. Find more photos and the map of his trip below the film…
The setting of this film is in the far north of Finland in the Lapland area north of the Arctic circle during Finland’s centennial year. It’s dark and cold; exactly what you think northern Finland would be like in the depths of autumn, except it’s also stunningly beautiful. Erkki’s path has led him to sell most of his possessions and move his life onto a sailboat. The S/y Sanibonani was built in South Africa in 1978. She has a luxurious history of cruising the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but now she’s finding her home in the cold waters of Finland. “Living aboard a sailboat has been a great experience,” Erkki said. “Extremely limited storage space makes you focus on the stuff you really need. Enjoying a sunset with good coffee really beats having eight pairs of shoes you never wear and a metric ton of random stuff around you.”
Erkki’s current method of transportation while in port is the new 2018 Unit X. “I have the Unit on deck ready for grocery runs and the occasional bikepacking trip,” he said. “In the spring, the boat was still bound in the ice so I had to haul 20-liter diesel canisters for the heater with the bike, which was no problem with a sturdy front rack.” As depicted in the film, Erkki recently took his Unit X to explore Finland’s largest national park, Lemmenjoki. Known for its gold-digging claims, Lemmenjoki spans 2,850 square kilometers and is peppered with huts where travelers can spend the night out of the extreme cold. Here is the route they used for the film:
Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to get lost in the beauty of nature.
About the bike
The Unit is Kona’s longstanding Reynolds 520 singlespeed 29er. In 2017 Kona made it slightly more versatile with the addition of 27.5+ wheels and tires (watch Not Far From Home 1 with more info about the bike). And for 2018 they released a model with gears, the Unit X. This move certainly opens it up to loaded bikepacking for those of us without ironman legs. Here’s the basic spec, or you can learn more at KonaWorld.com:
- Price: $1,299 USD
- Frame Material: Reynolds 520 Butted Cromoly
- Wheel Size: 27.5+
- Rims: WTB Scraper i40
- Hubs: Formula 100x9mm (front), 100x10mm (rear)
- Front Suspension: tire pressure and your arms
- Fork: Kona Plus Fork
- Crankset: SRAM NX (28t ring)
- Drivetrain: SRAM NX 11spd, SRAM PG1130 11-42t Cassette
- Cockpit: Kona XC/BC Riser bar and stem, Kona Key Grip grips
- Brakes: SRAM Level T
- Tires: WTB Ranger TCS 27.5×2.8″
- Saddle: WTB Volt Comp